Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Bharatpur (again)

So after yesterday’s successful visit we didn’t quite know what to expect today but we needn’t have worried as we nailed a number of really good quality birds. We headed of along a different direction from the car park and soon found the first of several Ruddy-breasted Crakes, with this first bird showing particularly well down to just a few feet away. It seemed to me there were more birds in this area of the park and Frank kept a tally of 51 species seen in the first hour, followed by 45, 45 and then 51 again for the following hours birding. Lots of the same birds as yesterday were present and we really enjoyed further views of them as we walked quite slowly along. When what appeared to be a Blyth’s Reed Warbler skulking in some dense acacia branches began to sing, it set my alarm bells ringing. No way was it a Blyth’s and sure enough when I played a Sykes’s Warbler song it matched perfectly. Over the next half an hour we had repeated views as the bird moved around the tree beside the path – we even had it or another about 400m along the same path on our return. It was such a pleasure to be able to study this species at leisure. There was also a female Eastern Orphean Warbler seen well along here, and we’d see a male later in the day as well. An Indian Pygmy Woodpecker was also very responsive as I played its call on the way back to our waiting rickshaws. At lunch we did another raptor watch and had Greater Spotted Eagle, Egyptian Vulture and Booted Eagle as well.

Black Bittern

Red-wattled Lapwing

Indian Robin
Walking along the path after lunch we scanned the open area from the viewing platform and picked up a Black-necked Stork soaring over the treetops and a short while later a Red-headed Vulture soaring as well. The tree-lined path also held a fine Indian Golden Oriole, whilst out in the marshes were a pair of Sarus Cranes and an Indian Spotted Eagle flew overhead. We took the rickshaws around the far side of Mansarovar Lake but didn’t find anything new, although several Golden Jackals were here and we had a cracking finale as the sun set with huge amounts of wildfowl and waders including 3 White-tailed Lapwings, and both Common and Pintail Snipe, Greater Flamingo and others as well.

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